This, my 37th station, in almost 9 months, and it marks the midpoint through my travels; quite a journey so far and look out for changes to the blog as I introduce a new look and some new features.
One such feature is my emerging YouTube channel where I intend to post a short film of all the pictures I have taken on each visit, and is intended to complement my shared photo albums, Facebook page and Instagram space. I haven’t yet decided whether to create a back catalogue, but that would be a cool thing to do. Let me know if you’d like to see these?
Edgware Road revisited
Over eight months after my first visit here, I’ve come back to Edgware Road to complete my sojourn to this station which serves as the end of the line for both the Circle and District lines.
Today is a cold wintry day and I wanted to explore a different side to the area, so this time I trundle through the back streets heading south to Marble Arch on the eastern side of Edgware Road and returning north to Paddington through the western side streets. This map sets out my route.
Stepping out of the station I head south and I’m impressed by the scale and architecture of the surrounding Hyde Park Mansions. They are architecturally characteristic of many a historic part of London with apartments retailing for anything from £2 million apiece with one reported to sell for £300 million! Further afield is the equally impressive Stourcliffe Court, and the more modernist Richbourne Court. The one thing these facades hide is the potential wealth that lurks behind their doors.
On the subject of wealth, I have to include a picture of this white Jaguar Car as its number plate just shouted out ‘look at me!’. After taking a few pictures, the car’s owner came out of his office and introduced himself as Mo and appreciated my admiring his car and number plate. He was too coy to tell me how much he’d paid for it…but it was good to talk with you Mo.
One final observation: I’m attracted to the interesting symbols on the lampposts and wonder if there’s are a hidden secret – and it turns out there is. The two symbols represent: a fanciful ‘W’ symbolising the Duke of Westminster who gave his name to the borough of Westminster; and the second is that of CoCo Chanel – from Lookup.London ‘…The legend goes that the Duke of Westminster during the 1920s was infatuated with Coco Chanel, repeatedly asking her to marry him. This is pretty well documented and it appears the feelings were mutual. Chanel spent many years in London and between 1924 and the early 1930s enjoyed a beneficial and happy affair with Hugh Grosvenor (richest man in the world at the time) according to the biography written by Justine Picardie in 2010…’ How interesting
There aren’t many visitors about and even Oxford Street, still to de-Christmas itself is relatively quiet of shoppers. Neither did it stop one loving couple stealing a kiss in the shadow of Marble Arch. Even the local birds are less than enthusiastic, but suspect that may be more to do with the lack of people = food being less readily available. Nevertheless the adjoining gardens are making a good impression in providing colour.
Perched on one of the traffic Islands, I find a good spot to look at the constant passing traffic and this shot highlights the variety of transport options readily available to locals and visitors.
Many sculptors have taken advantage of the wide open spaces nearby to show off larger than life works of art. Three in particular caught my eye:
- ‘Still Water’, a 30 foot outdoor bronze sculpture of a horse’s head by Nic Fiddian-Green
- ‘Flight’, a magical sculpture of a flying man taking off from Marble Arch; a 7 meter outdoor bronze sculpture with black patina created by David Breuer-Weil, and
- the ‘Animals in War’ memorial created by David Backhouse; a symbolic 58 foot by 55 foot installation that invites you into it to learn more about its history
Black & White
There’s a black & white theme with some of the pictures I’ve taken. Maybe it’s a simple and prevalent colour combination across fashionable London or maybe it’s a combination of the dull weather that makes the colour combination stand out. Whatever the reason, I’m drawn to some of the buildings by the simple design shapes created by their facade. Here are some examples which include:
- 100 Park Lane (Dudley House), a private home owned by Qatari sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royalty
- 36 Upper Brook Street, the location of 28 companies enjoying their Mayfair location
- Even developers are getting in on the act with hoarding surrounding the prestigious development by almacanter overlooking Hyde Park
The majority of the properties on the return walk to Paddington are part of the Hyde Park Estate but I’m drawn to a particular art installation in the guise of a greenhouse. Entitled ‘Sacre Blur’, it’s a greenhouse constructed by Heywood and Condie from salvaged 18th and 19th century stained glass on a plot of land outside 25 Porchester Place.
Turning left into Praed Street and approaching Paddington Station, I reach St Mary’s Hospital and reflect that I’d never before taken any notice of this historic site as it was the professional home to Sir Alexander Fleming where he discovered penicillin; a discovery that changed medicine in the late 19th century. The hospital is a sprawling site originally built in the early Victorian age, and added to with little finesse since then. A poster on a hoarding surrounding an adjacent building site caught my eye as it’s design is rather striking, and as I walk around the old victorian buildings, I’m amused by the travellers pulling their wheelie suitcases who struggle to navigate the cobbled roads.
I also look up at the towering building overlooking the station, now part of the HIlton chain, and admire its refurbished art deco facade enblazened with Great Western Railway (GWR) livery. Although in full view, it’s almost a lost piece of architecture as the thousand of passing travellers are unlikely to ever notice it.
I’ve flirted with visiting Portobello Market for some time and as it’s only a few stops away on the Hammersmith and City Line at Ladbroke Grove, I jump on the first train taking me there. It is late on a weekday afternoon and traders are shutting up shop, but there’s enough flavour to entice a return one day. I hadn’t appreciated that the road runs all the way from Notting Hill, so I suspect on a nice day with the sun out, this could be a very long, slow and expensive one mile walk from end to end. For now, here are some samples of what I see which serves as a reminder that despite its popularity as a fashionable market street, it is also a residential area.
This is easy to explain – it just made me smile…
See all Edgware Road revisited pics on Google Photo here – feel free to comment
See the sidebar for a sample of Edgware Road (revisited) pics on Instagram
For more info, lookup Edgware Road on Wikipedia
New Feature –Try my YouTube channel and watch a brief movie of the pics of my visit to Edgware Road revisited